The casting of Marisa Abela, who will play Winehouse in Back to Black, has been criticised by fans who claim the actor looks nothing like the late musician.
Filming of the biopic commenced on 16 January, in London, with photographs surfacing on social media showing Abela in action. Critics quickly pointed out their disappointment with the casting of Abela.
However, Mitch has publicly supported the casting, telling US website TMZ: “Marisa’s a great choice for the role, even if she doesn’t look exactly like Amy.”
Industry actor Abela will play the late singer in the biopic, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who is best known for directing the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Eddie Marsan will play Amy’s father in the movie, with Mitch pointing out that the British actor does not resemble him, either.
According to the publication, Mitch defended Back to Black by suggesting there is too much emphasis on looks in Hollywood films, since there are plenty of examples of actors who are not identical to the real-life person they are portraying.
Skins star Jack O’Connell is set to play Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, whom she divorced in 2009 two years prior to her death in July 2011. Mrs Harris Goes to Paris actor Lesley Manville will play the musician’s maternal grandmother.
In response to photographs surfacing on social media revealing Abela in character as Winehouse on set in London, fans posted on Twitter, criticising the casting decision.
“They literally could have picked any other person on the planet, put a beehive on them, and they would look more like amy winehouse than the gal cast in that film does,” one person complained.
Another posted: “It took a second for me to realize that i was looking at photos from the upcoming amy winehouse film, so incredibly disappointing.”
“Those photos from the Amy Winehouse biopic look like they came from a bad Saturday Night Live skit, that film needs to be shut down and they need to let Amy rest.”
The film, which has the approval of the Amy Winehouse estate, will feature songs by the singer. “We are thrilled that Studiocanal, Focus Features and Monumental are making this movie celebrating our daughter Amy’s extraordinary music legacy and showcasing her talent in the way that it deserves,” read a statement from her estate.
According to a press release, Back To Black will “focus on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did.” It continues: “Back To Black crashes through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt.”
The film’s release date is unconfirmed.